LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–January 30, 2015

January 30, 2015, Written By Lynn Oldshue
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Apple Pay Accounts for $2 out of every $3 Spent with Contactless Payments
Apple CEO Tim Cook said that around $2 out of every $3 spent using contactless payments across Visa, MasterCard, and American Express are being made with Apple Pay since the service launched in October. Apple has now signed on around 750 banks and credit unions that will roll out support for the service. That’s up from the 500 banks Apple initially announced it had signed on to support the service. Story by Jordan Kahn for 9 to 5 Mac.

Password Managers Could Limit Identity Theft
To defeat hackers, you should have a different strong password on each site you use, and it should be changed often. Passwords should have random upper and lower case letters as well as at least one number and symbol. If they are truly secure, you will probably not be able to remember many random passwords. That is why you need a password manager. A password manager remembers all the passwords for you. It sits on your computer and has a master password. When you visit a site a second time, it works with your browser to remember your password and automatically logs you in. It becomes a significant time saver in addition to the solid security it provides when you start using random passwords. Story by Bill Hardekopf for LowCards.com.

Credit Card Interest Cap Fails In Colorado
A failed proposal to reduce finance charges on some credit cards became the latest casualty Monday for Colorado Democrats trying to find a new focus in the minority. The Senate Business, Labor and Technology Committee voted 6-1 against a bill that would have capped finance charges on credit cards from Colorado lenders at 12.5 percent, instead of the current 21 percent limit. Story by Kristen Wyatt for the Associated Press.

Final Raises A Million For Its Fraud-Fighting Credit Card
Credit card startup Final, which is focused on combating fraud online and off while giving consumers more control over their spending, has raised $1 million in seed funding from investors. Final is an EMV based credit card which also offers consumers the ability to generate multiple, unique numbers that can be used with individual retailers. But what makes it different from others that had offered temporary numbers in the past, is that they can be established for both individual merchants and one-off transactions. And then, thanks to the web and mobile applications, consumers can track their various accounts and subscriptions, setting specific rules for each. Consumers could set dollar amount limits on one card number, for instance, or could cancel a specific card number in order to end a relationship with a merchant without affecting others. This system can also help in the event of a data breach. Story by Sarah Perez for TechCrunch.

Refunds for Millions in UK over ‘Unnecessary’ Credit Card Fraud Insurance
Two million customers of almost a dozen major banks are owed a refund after they were sold “unnecessary” fraud insurance for their credit cards. The policies typically cost £25 a year and promised to protect people if their card was lost or stolen. However, fraudulent spending on credit and debit cards is covered by banks unless there is proof that the customer was “grossly negligent” or failed to report the incident within a reasonable time. Customers were effectively “covered twice”, regulators said. Story by Dan Hyde for The Telegraph.

MasterCard Gives OK for Credit Card Use in Cuba
Come March 1, American travelers will be able to slap down their MasterCards in Cuba and use plastic to pay for their hotel or mojitos. The company said that starting in March it would stop blocking transactions on U.S.-issued cards in Cuba. It was one of the first moves by a major U.S corporation since the Treasury Department released guidelines Jan. 15 on expanded travel and trade with Cuba as part of the Obama administration’s effort to normalize relations. Story by Mimi Whitefield for the Miami Herald.

Howard Schultz Wants Starbucks to be the Visa of Mobile Payment
At Starbucks Corp., whose shares rose to a record high Friday after better-than-expected holiday-quarter sales, CEO Howard Schultz’s aspirations appear to be ranging ever farther from brewed beverages. Next up: becoming the “Visa of mobile payments.” The company now processes over 7 million mobile transactions in its U.S. stores each week, or 16% of all in-store transactions, which it said is more than any other physical retailer. That mobile-transaction count reflects a 40% jump since just last March. Over 13 million U.S. customers are now “actively using” its mobile apps, according to the company; that’s a 30% jump since March. Story by Andria Cheng for MarketWatch.

FTC: Credit Reporting Agencies Need To Clean Up Data
Credit reporting agencies need to do a better job of cleaning up inaccurate information on consumers’ credit reports, according to a new study from the Federal Trade Commission. The final study recommends that CRAs review and improve the process they use to notify consumers about the results of dispute investigations, and that CRAs continue to explore efforts to educate consumers regarding their rights to review their credit reports and dispute inaccurate information. Story in CU Today.info.

A Merchant’s Step-by-Step Guide to EMV Implementation
By now, we know that fraud related to counterfeit cards has essentially been eliminated in countries where EMV has been widely adopted. Incidences of two other types of fraud–lost/stolen and card-not-present fraud–have also been reduced in these areas, specifically where chip and PIN is required.Therefore, while most U.S. issuers have so far opted to issue EMV cards that require only a signature for cardholder verification (to reduce their cost burden), chip and PIN is likely on its way to becoming a standard in the U.S. and in many other countries. Story in Payments.com.

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report
Based on the 1,000+ cards in the LowCards.com Complete Credit Card Index, the average advertised APR for credit cards is 14.41 percent, identical to last week. Six months ago, the average was 14.49 percent. One year ago, the average was 14.50 percent.



The information contained within this article was accurate as of January 30, 2015. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.